2017 PDP WOLF-IN-SKINS Dance/Opera Creative Residency with choreographer CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS and composer GREGORY SPEARS

WOLF-IN-SKINS   excerpts from the dance opera

NOVEMBER 29 & 30  at 7:30PM
SEI Innovation Studio, Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad Street
Tickets $10 at the Kimmel Box Office

Philadelphia Dance Projects in partnership with American Opera Projects will present an “Informance” with Choreographer, Christopher Williams and Composer, Gregory Spears as the culmination of a creative artist residency to further develop their original dance opera, WOLF-IN-SKINS.

An “Informance” is a work-in-progress showing, where the artists are in conversation with the audience about the content of the work, their ideas and inspiration.  Dancers, singers and musicians will perform sections from the work.

Wolves, hounds, fay milkmaids and other mythical characters fill this dance opera that draws inspiration from a cycle of Welsh romance tales that preserve pre-Celtic and pre-Christian elements. It views marginalized or outmoded cultural relics, celebrating the “otherness” inherent in early Welsh literature, through a contemporary lens.

Christopher Williams, hailed as “one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there” in The New York Times and “the downtown prodigy” in The New Yorker, is a choreographer, dancer and puppeteer who has been devoted to crafting and performing choreographic works in New York City and abroad since 1999 including recent collaborations choreographing operas directed by Peter Sellars and Michel Fau.

Gregory Spears (Composer) music work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (The New York Times), and “coolly entrancing” (The New Yorker). In recent seasons, he has been commissioned by The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seraphic Fire, New York Polyphony, The Crossing choir, trumpeter Brandon Ridenour and the JACK Quartet among others. 

Spears’ most recent evening length opera, Fellow Travelers, was written with playwright Greg Pierce and premiered in 2016 at Cincinnati Opera. It will be performed this season at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Prototype Festival, and Minnesota Opera. It was hailed as “one of the most accomplished new operas I have seen in recent years” (Chicago Tribune) and an opera that “seems assured of lasting appeal” (The New York Times). A commercial recording was released on the Fanfare Cincinnati label in fall of 2017.. 

Spears’ children’s opera Jason and the Argonauts, written with Kathryn Walat,  premiered in the summer of 2016 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and was subsequently performed on tour the following fall. His opera about space exploration, O Columbia, was written in collaboration with Royce Vavrek and premiered in 2015 at Houston Grand Opera. 

Spears and Walat’s first opera, Paul’s Case, was described as a “masterpiece” and a “gem” (New York Observer) with “ravishing music” (New York Times). It was developed by American Opera Projects, premiered by Urban Arias in 2013, restaged at the PROTOTYPE Festival, and presented in a new production by Pittsburgh Opera in 2014. Spears has won prizes from BMI and ASCAP as well as awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Vagn Holmboe Competition, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony.  His music is published by Schott Music and Schott PSNY.

This project is supported in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, the William Penn Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, PA Arts Council Project Stream grant administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Individual Donors.

Operatic elements tell the story while dance explores the dreaminess of the mythology…it’s a visual feast.”  - Merilyn Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer

If you were one of the lucky audience to see the Philadelphia Dance Projects’ sold out performances of Wolf-In-Skins, Act 1 in 2013 you know how exciting this work is! 
A PDP special residency will begin in 2017 and culminate with a script in hand presentation in the Fall when some of those marvelous singers, wolves and hounds, along with new puppets will return.
PDP has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a creative residency with choreographer, Christopher Williams and composer Gregory Spears to work towards finishing this wonderful dance opera.  

“Dance and opera certainly have been blended over the centuries, but not often with the sort of intensive interaction demanded by [choreographer] Williams and composer Gregory Spears, both seemingly fearless about striking out in new direction.” David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

Operatic elements tell the story while dance explores the dreaminess of the mythology…it’s a visual feast.”  - Merilyn Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer

 

If you were one of the lucky audience to see the Philadelphia Dance Projects’ sold out performances of Wolf-In-Skins, Act 1 in 2013 you know how exciting this work is! 

A PDP special residency will begin in 2017 and culminate with a script in hand presentation in the Fall when some of those marvelous singers, wolves and hounds, along with new puppets will return.

 PDP has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a creative residency with choreographer, Christopher Williams and composer Gregory Spears to work towards finishing this wonderful dance opera.  

 

 

“Dance and opera certainly have been blended over the centuries, but not often with the sort of intensive interaction demanded by [choreographer] Williams and composer Gregory Spears, both seemingly fearless about striking out in new direction.” David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquire

Operatic elements tell the story while dance explores the dreaminess of the mythology…it’s a visual feast.”  - Merilyn Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer

 

If you were one of the lucky audience to see the Philadelphia Dance Projects’ sold out performances of Wolf-In-Skins, Act 1 in 2013 you know how exciting this work is! 

A PDP special residency will begin in 2017 and culminate with a script in hand presentation in the Fall when some of those marvelous singers, wolves and hounds, along with new puppets will return.

PDP has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a creative residency with choreographer, Christopher Williams and composer Gregory Spears to work towards finishing this wonderful dance opera.  

 

“Dance and opera certainly have been blended over the centuries, but not often with the sort of intensive interaction demanded by [choreographer] Williams and composer Gregory Spears, both seemingly fearless about striking out in new direction.” David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

r